A Theater Bonanza in Store for the Forks

xxx and xxx in Hampton Theatre Company's production of "The Foreigner," which opens tonight.
James Ewing and Matthew Conlon in Hampton Theatre Company’s production of “The Foreigner,” which opens tonight | Tom Kochie Photo

After a long late-winter dearth of theater productions on the East End, this weekend is promising to be a busy one for theater lovers.

The Hampton Theatre Company in Quogue is the first out the gate this weekend with a revival production of “The Foreigner,” one of the company’s greatest hits of all time back in 1991.

“The Foreigner” is Larry Shue’s comedy of cultures, a tale of a shy Englishman on a trip to a backwoods Georgia fishing lodge.

Philip Brandes of the Los Angeles Times has called the play “outrageously funny” and “one of the few modern comedies that remains true to human nature despite its absurd excesses.”

Our shy Englishman and hero, Charlie Baker,  is played by Matthew Conlon, who is returning to the Quogue stage following a near 20-year hiatus and a long string of professional credits. He has previously appeared with the HTC as John Proctor in “The Crucible,” as Morris Townsend in “The Heiress” and as Henry in “The Real Thing.”

Two longtime company members are reprising the roles they played in the original 1991 production in Quogue. Diana Marbury will once again play naive innkeeper Betty Meeks and James Ewing will play the redneck firebrand Owen Musser.

Joe Pallister plays the Reverend David Marshall Lee, Ben Schnickel plays the simple but helpful Ellard Simms, and Terry Brockbank plays the cheerful cockney military man “Froggy” LeSeuer. Genuine Georgia native Krista Kurtzberg plays the wealthy, young ex-debutant Catherine Simms, and HTC’s executive director, Sarah Hunnewell, directs.

“The Foreigner” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from March 13 through March 30. Showtimes on Thursdays and Fridays are at 7 p.m., Saturdays are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors (except Saturday) and $10 for students under 21 and are available online here.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in Mattituck

North Fork Community Theatre is tackling Ken Kesey’s classic “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” opening tomorrow, March 14 at 8 p.m.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at North Fork Community Theatre
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at North Fork Community Theatre

North Fork theater veteran Alan Stewart plays the title role of Randall McMurphy, a convict who pretends to be crazy in order to avoid hard labor at a prison camp, only to end up the ringleader of a motley crew of mostly voluntary mental patients.

Nurse Ratched will be played by Rebecca Edana, and the ensemble cast includes many veterans of the North Fork stage.

Wade Karlin, Rusty Kransky, Peter Peterson, Matt Orr, Derek Hoffman, John Hudson, Ken Rowland, Lena Trbojevic, Jim Pearsall, Robert Wesson, Laura Pace, Tara O’Shea, Jennifer Eager and Jose Coropuna round out the cast of the production, which is directed by Bob Kaplan.

Show dates are March 14 through 16, March 21 through 23, and March 28 through 30. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are  $15 and are available online here.

There will be free receptions at 7 p.m. on March 14 and 22. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 631.298.NFCT or www.nfct.com.

The theater will also be holding two talk-back sessions with the actors after the Sunday matinees on March 23 and March 30, where audience members can talk with the actors about their roles and what it takes to get into their characters’ skins.

“Shakespeare: Tales and Tempests” in Greenport

Tales and TempestsNortheast Stage is embarking on a  “rich and strange” theatrical journey through the last six plays Shakespeare wrote in “Shakespeare: Tales and Tempests” at Greenport’s Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, opening Friday night, March 14.

This original production, created by A.D. Newcomer in collaboration with company actors, premiered at the Jamesport Meeting House last March, and has been refined and revised over the course of the past year.

It tells the stories of the last six plays in the Shakespearean canon: Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest and two plays Shakespeare wrote with John Fletcher: Henry VIII, or All Is True and The Two Noble Kinsmen.

The cast includes Steve Buchanan, Cate Clifford, Kevin Monsell, A.D. Newcomer, Sarah Wilson and Tyler Cacace.

Admission is $15 at the door, and a free opening night reception is included in the March 14 ticket price.

 

“Venus in Fur” staged reading in East Hampton

When you’re done with all this weekend theater-going, head out to the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton for a free staged reading of “Venus in Fur” by David Ives on Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 pm.

Venus-in-Fur-200x300Directed by Tina Andrews, the production features Adam Donshik and Alexandra Cohen-Spiegler.

“Venus in Fur” tells the tale of Thomas, a beleaguered playwright and director who is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale Venus in Fur.

Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress whose name just happens to be Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda shows off a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas’ interest. As the two work through the script, they blur the line between play and reality, entering into an increasingly serious game of submission and domination that only one of them can win.

“Ives has crafted a modern take on a classic tale, skillfully twisting his plot and characters in a fast-paced journey into one man’s entrapment by a clever, vengeful female,” according to the Associated Press.

 

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

One thought on “A Theater Bonanza in Store for the Forks

  • March 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm
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    I have to say, having photographed theatrical productions for many years, “The Foreigner” is one of the most hysterically funny plays I’ve ever seen! Highly recommended if you need a good laugh, combined with some serious lessons.

    Reply

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